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Google Rolls Out Online Storage Services 285

Posted by Zonk
from the instant-access-warez-stash dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The associated press reports that Google is slated to provide online storage at a price. From the article: 'Web search and Internet services company Google Inc. on Friday began selling expanded online storage, targeted for users with large picture, music or video file collections. The prices range from $20 per year for 6 gigabytes of online storage; $75 per year for 25 gigabytes of storage; $250 per year for 100 gigabytes of storage; and $500 per year for 250 gigabytes of storage.' Is this too expensive for what there offering, or are you going to make use of it?"
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Google Rolls Out Online Storage Services

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  • by heinousjay (683506) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:19PM (#20187861) Journal
    Well, that about does it for comments here.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by thornomad (1095985)
      Apple's .Mac gives you 10GB for $99 per year -- and I think there are quite a few people who have signed on (mostly because it says "Mac" somewhere in the URL) despite the high price and poor service (IMO). I think the same will happen with Google (with or without the poor service).
      • by aliquis (678370)
        Well, except backup storage which are easy to use it offers e-mail and jabber (i think) which isn't worth much, space for a blog, webpage, podcast, photo album, .. in a way which is easy to use. It also let you share your calendar info with others.
        • Not to mention that they give you a free application or game every few months (or at least they used to). (And yes, I know it's not really "free").
      • by eclectic4 (665330) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:12PM (#20189641)
        Holy bejeesus, I can't believe you got modded up for that completely misleading comment. It's not $99 just for storage, it's also email, one-click publishing of web pages and photo pages. Groups. Automatic calander, bookmark, address book, email and some third party syncing. Easy Mac and PC (and Web) access to upload and download from anywhere, video tutorials, backup application, etc... the list is very long.

        Check it out [apple.com].

        I use it every day and love it. I have found no better coupling than iLife and .Mac. It just works.
        • by kestasjk (933987) on Friday August 10, 2007 @09:32PM (#20191443) Homepage

          Holy bejeesus, I can't believe you got modded up for that completely misleading comment. It's not $99 just for storage, it's also email storage, one-click storage of web pages and photo pages. Groups. Automatic calander storage, bookmark storage, address book storage, email storage (didn't you already mention this?) and some third party data storage. Easy Mac and PC (and Web) access to upload and download from anywhere (Eee.. storage?), video tutorials(Google's web apps also come with these), backup application(a storage interface?), etc... the list (of file types you can store) is very long.

          Check it out [apple.com].

          I use it every day and love it. I have found no better coupling than iLife and .Mac. It just works.
          The stuff you mentioned is basically just.. storage. You also mention calendars, web hosting, and e-mail. Google does all that too, of course. Except it does that part for free.

          Last I checked Google just works, and I expect this will just work too, and it looks like it'll just work for less money.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:34PM (#20188141)
      Its to late. Their already lots of comments. I assume there here to ad there inciteful comments. Don't loose your cool if they contain lots of grammer errors.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dragonslicer (991472)

        Its to late. Their already lots of comments. I assume there here to ad there inciteful comments. Don't loose you're cool if they contain alot of grammer errors.
        Fixed that for ya.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:01PM (#20189487)
      Currently, I get a little over 250 GB from Dreamhost and I'm paying $120 a year for it. I've been a Dreamhost customer for a couple years, so I'm not sure how much a new customer gets (Dreamhost increases the storage each week), but I'm sure it's less expensive than Google's rates. I have 199 GB uploaded at the moment, which is a near-100% backup of my DVD collection (in 1-gig-per-movie MP4 format.) Dreamhost supports mounting storage as WebDAV, FTP, or rsync to transfer files. (And of course there's web hosting included.)

      The problem with large amounts of storage isn't the amount of space, but the time taken to upload. It took a week to upload my movie files to Dreamhost on a medium-speed DSL connection, and it would take several solid days of downloading to get it back.
      • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:53PM (#20190785)
        Yup. It's the upload/download bandwidth that's the issue with a lot of storage. My low end DSL is pretty much worthless for uploading (and not that awful much better for downloading).

        Personally I just buy a spare hard drive (you can 500GB for ~$100 now, it's insane), back up everything I need to, and drop off the spare drive at my sister's house (stored in her basement) the next time I go visit her, so I'm covered if my place gets robbed or burned down.

        If we all had massive bandwidth available the online deals might be good, but for most of us, 500 GB would simply take way way too long to upload or download.
  • by Bomarc (306716) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:20PM (#20187873) Homepage
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dj_tla (1048764)
      Yeah, that's actually what the storage is for. From the article:

      "the storage can be used across several Google products, including photo site Picasa; Gmail, a Google email application; and Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google's office applications."

      Gmail users can purchase it by going to Settings (top right of the gmail interface), then Accounts, then check out the new "Add additional storage" row. Or, you can just straight to https://www.google.com/accounts/PurchaseStorage [google.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's cheaper than Amazon's S3 once you factor in bandwidth, but all this really is is supplemental storage for GMail and Picasa. You'd need something hackish like GMail Drive to use it for anything more. Give me FTP, HTTP, SFTP, etc, access and then we'll talk.
  • by msblack (191749) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:20PM (#20187879)
    So when will they start charging everyone who has used Picassa these new annual fees? I'm sure a lot of people will gladly pay hosting fees.
  • by eln (21727) * on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:21PM (#20187887) Homepage
    So I read the article, and all it says is that the stuff you store can be used with Google products like Picasa, Gmail, Google Docs, etc. But, can't anything I store on my own hard drive be uploaded to those apps too?

    I can get 500 GB of local storage for $100, and I don't have to worry about what some corporation is going to do with my data. If the only "advantage" to Google's storage is that I can use it with their products, what's the point? Surely Google must have something more to offer than the article states. As it stands, this looks like a great deal if it were 1998, but not so much today.
    • by nuzak (959558) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:23PM (#20187943) Journal
      > I can get 500 GB of local storage for $100

      Yes, and I can get a pair of shoes or a blowjob for that too. What's that got to do with online storage, which presumably you put online for a reason?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:25PM (#20187983)
        >>> Yes, and I can get a pair of shoes or a blowjob for that too.

        Which store does that combo? I'm heading there as soon as I find out!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eln (21727) *
        That's my point, the "advantage" the article talks about is that you can use the storage with Google's own products. If you could use the storage to, say, host a website or something, then it might be worth it. If all I can do is use it on Google's product offerings, it is a rip off.

         
        • by nmos (25822)
          One of the advantages of having non-local storage are that it is safe from fire/flood/theft/whatever that might happen to your local storage. Another advantage is that it makes it easy to share data among users at multiple locations. There are obviously disadvantages too such as slow access speed, high cost, etc but I'm sure some folks will find it useful.

        • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:03PM (#20188629) Homepage

          That's my point, the "advantage" the article talks about is that you can use the storage with Google's own products.


          The article was written by a journalist for Forbes. It also says nowhere that this is the only way to use the storage.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        I can get 500 GB of local storage for $100

        What's that got to do with online storage, which presumably you put online for a reason?

        I can also get 24/7 always-on Internet access for less than $66.67 a month.

        2 * (250 GB at $500/yr.) == 500 GB at $1000/yr.

        500 GB for $100 leaves $900/yr for access service. Say $100 for a UPS for the server and router. That leaves $800/yr / 12mo/yr == $66.67/mo. That's without amortizing the cost of the drive and UPS over multiple years, which over time would pay for the power. And besides, I'd probably be paying

    • by durdur (252098)
      Despite my concerns about somebody remote and maybe not devoid of evilness having my data, I find some attraction to having my data securely stored and backed up outside my premises. But yeah, I want that to cost less and I probably would probably also want some wider bandwidth, not just crappy DSL, to connect me to it, before it would become really attractive. I expect I'll get those things, eventually.

      By the way, I have yet to figure out what is so good about Picasa. They have a neat hack where they can
      • I'd jump on it if they did something like what mozy does. You can generate your own strong encryption key, and only encrypted data will get stored on the server. All encryption/decryption occurs locally on your computer. That way, nobody can get any data out of the files on the server.

        The problem, of course, is whether or not the software to access the service will generate "backup" keys for hive.
        • by Braino420 (896819)
          Is there a reason you are incapable of encrypting the data yourself? You know, encrypt/decrypt locally on your computer. You would be sure they didn't have access to your key then.
    • My first thought about these services is, it has real potential for people who need to ensure they don't lose important photos or other documents.

      Sure, you can set up regular backups to an external hard drive, set up a fault-tolerant RAID system perhaps, or burn your important stuff to DVD or CD. But none of that helps if your house catches on fire while you're out and all those things go up in flames. Backups also have the nasty tendency to be "out of reach" when you need them. (EG. You go on an import
      • by Amouth (879122)
        that would be something worth while.. if they provided the equivlent of a real time monitored local file changes + svn on their end.. so that you could say store this folder.. and it and everything init was sent up.. as you added files it tacks them on to the list along with partial file/block changes and delettions - alot how DFS works for sever 2003..

        if i could get that.. at a remote storage facility for that price.. they would have my money..

        the trickto making it worth while is to make it all done i
    • And to get closer to what google is overcharging for Laurencemartin.org is hosted by Lunar pages and its 350 gigs for US$99.40 a year
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by idiocracy (1140065)
      Sucks wins

      Nice:
      1) remote availability: files online to transfer or get access when out and about
      2) remote backup

      Sucks:
      1) expensive: I can get a 500GB drive from frys for $100
      2) privacy: do I really want google to know even more about me; yes send me more ads; yes turn over my files when the feds come for it [you better encrypt it]
      3) reliability:
      A) GMail goes down so I assume I will not always have access to these files [I cannot put important files there and expect to access them as needed]
  • I've been waiting forever for them to come out with something like this. I'm sure they'd be required to hand over any data if the men who ride in black helicopters come asking, so it's a good thing there's TrueCrypt :D
    • Ah hell, looks like I've spoken too soon. It appears to only be extra storage for existing services :-\
  • Privacy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So, is google going to search through all my content to see what I have?

    Then send me more targeted advertisements when I use their services? You know that they can link all that up.

    Just how "do no evil" will google be with all this information on you available at their fingertips?

    I suppose you could just always encrypt all your uploads... hmm.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That would be OK too, because then they can detected it encrypted with "foo algorithm" and send you a targeted advertisement that "Biz bang Algorithm is better" and then offer you links to crypto products and stuff. Either way, they win :) It's brilliant.
  • Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martinelli (1082609) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:22PM (#20187927) Homepage
    I've always had an issue with online storage. Sure, you have a massive capacity. But, think about the time it takes you to upload, download, etc. For the $500 a year pricetag on the 250gb drive, I could go out and purchase a few 250gb external drives. Although online storage is great for protecting against a physical disaster, it's simply too clumsy right now to be used effectively.
    • I have to agree. Even at decent connection speeds, uploading that much data would take quite a while (not to mention the price being a bit excessive). I also don't exactly trust Google with that much minable information.

      Also, on your comment about external drives, the 320GB Wester Digital external drive that I picked up a couple of months ago was about $120.
    • by prozac79 (651102)
      Although online storage is great for protecting against a physical disaster, it's simply too clumsy right now to be used effectively

      I've been super paranoid about losing my data, especially if my backup drive dies, is stolen, or the earth opens up and swallows my apartment. But I had the same issues as you as to finding a good online storage company. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, try Mozy. It's cheap ($5/month for unlimited storage) and has a pretty unobtrusive backup desktop client.

  • Amazon S3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Usquebaugh (230216) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:23PM (#20187933)
    I use Amazon S3 through Gorilla Disk. I also use it directly through Python and Ruby.

    Amazon has it right in this instance. The cost is less and is dynamic.

    I'm looking at starting a small app hosting company and S3 will definitely work better than Google, my costs grow with my business, no upfront expenses etc.
    • Do you mean JungleDisk? I Googled for GorillaDisk, and couldn't find it...

      Looks cool... I might have to check them out for my backups...
    • Re:Amazon S3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by crt (44106) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:15PM (#20188837)
      I think you mean Jungle Disk [jungledisk.com], which allows you to connect to Amazon S3 from your desktop, as well as do automatic backup.

      At $0.15/gb/month, S3 is already priced better than Google - especially considering you only pay for what you use with no need to pre-pay for a bunch of storage in advance.

      S3 is really a different service - you can store anything on it, whereas the Google storage can apparently only be used from Google apps (for now). The other advantage of using software like Jungle Disk with S3 is that your data is encrypted before even leaving your machine, and neither Amazon nor anyone else can access it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lost Engineer (459920)
        Looks like it's only cheaper at 100GB+ to me.

        Seems like most people should be able to get their important documents into the 6GB drive.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lushmore (41101)
        I have to chime in on how much JungleDisk kicks ass. It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac, and there's even a USB key version so that you can access your data on the go. Local caching means you can save on transfer charges, plus you can save now and let your data trickle up later. I run the command line version on my Linux server, and all my other machines access it via the native webdav interface, allowing the multiple clients to share the one cache.

        I try to be diligent about rotating disks offsite, but
    • Re:Amazon S3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by yelvington (8169) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:48PM (#20189271) Homepage
      S3Fox:
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/324 7 [mozilla.org]
      Integrates an upload/download interface for Amazon S3 into Firefox. Very slick and very free.
  • According to the company's official blog, the storage can be used across several Google products, including photo site Picasa; Gmail, a Google email application; and Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google's office applications.

    Seems a little underwhelming - if they had a sanctioned Google Drive that I could connect to from Windows or Linux, anywhere in the world, that would be cool. FTP access would be nice. But to pay $20/year for 6 more gigs without any functionality I don't have now...nah.

  • by vigmeister (1112659) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:27PM (#20188013)
    That a $200 computer I can build with 750GB of storage and is always online cannot?

    Given the occasional inaccessibility of GMail, if this data is not ALWAYS AVAILABLE, I don't see the point of the exercise. The only other advantage I can see are download speeds, but upload speeds are getting better day by day. If I pool with 3-4 other people for a solid internet connection (or if I am in college), I am all set...

  • by FlyByPC (841016) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:27PM (#20188025) Homepage
    For one, it's expensive; you could buy many times the storage by buying the hardware yourself; it would be cheaper to go with RAID-1 and replace the drives every year whether they needed it or not.

    Also, even assuming that Google's new service is:
    • trustworthy (I.E. they don't peek at your data),
    • reliable,
    • secure (hackerproof and disasterproof; aren't they based in CA?), and
    • speedy (and it ain't ever gonna be as fast as a locally-attached HD)

    ...there's still the question of your own Internet connection; I for one don't want to lose access to my files every time my cable connection decides it needs a day off. It's been pretty reliable lately, but still.

    On the "trustworthy" issue, I trust Google as much as just about any company -- but I don't trust anyone 100%, so why risk it?

    Bottom line -- call me a dinosaur (OK, it fits; I enjoy BASIC and Assembler), but I'd rather do it myself.

    Yeah, yeah, you say -- but what about portable storage? OK, I admit, this would be convenient -- but I still think the drawbacks (even money being no object) far outweigh bringing the data you need with you. Heck, for that money, you could seriously think about one of those new solid-state drives! How's that for reliability?
  • there (Score:5, Funny)

    by N7DR (536428) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:28PM (#20188027) Homepage
    Is this too expensive for what there offering

    Sigh.

    Here we go again, wielding the language of Shakespeare with all the delicate sensitivity and purpose of a surgeon wielding a cosh.

    • Re:there (Score:5, Funny)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:46PM (#20188345)
      Fine. Editors, please correct this typo. It should read: "Is this to expensive for what their offering."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sigh.

      Here we go again, wielding the language of Shakespeare with all the delicate sensitivity and purpose of a surgeon wielding a cosh.


      Sigh.

      Here we go again. Another Brit using British slang and just expecting the rest of the world to understand. I had to go to dictionary.com, but for those of us who aren't Brits
      cosh = bludgeon
    • by kalidasa (577403)

      Is this too expensive for what there offering

      Sigh.

      Here we go again, wielding the language of Shakespeare with all the delicate sensitivity and purpose of a surgeon wielding a cosh.

      While I feel your pain (or at least that inflicted by yonder blunt-force surgeon), I have to toss in one little warning: if you're going to drop a name in a spelling flame, it would be best not to cite a fellow who couldn't decide how to render his own last name. Was Shakespeare the master of the English language? Yes. Was he a m

  • It seems that the most likely use of this is as a remote backup, given how cheap desktop storage is these days (about $2/GB last time I checked), and the bandwidth constraints of pulling large quantities of data from a remote server when you need it.

    What is needed is a convenient automatic "trickle backup" system. This will do incremental backups to this service whenever you are online, but which is smart enough to stop if you need your internet connection, or if you disconnect. In such circumstances it

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by verbila (964789)
      Mozy does this (http://www.mozypro.com/mozy_pro/comparison/), and they just started supporting Macs in addition to PCs. Great service. Simple, hassle-free, encrypted. No, I don't work for them. Just a satisfied user. They have a free version of their service, too (2Gb).
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      You are living in 2002. Nowdays, storage is at 20c /Gbyte...
      • by Sanity (1431) *
        I was basing my estimate on $500 for a 1TB drive, and yes, I screwed up - that would be 50c/Gb, but where do you get 20c/Gb?
        • The lowest cost/GB I can find is about $.24/GB. 500GB external USB drives can easily be found online for about $120.
    • I don't know if a convenient 'trickle' uploader exists yet, but I'm setting up a backup scheme for myself that uses duplicity [nongnu.org] to upload to Amazon's S3 [amazonaws.com], and uses an EC2 [amazon.com] instance for a few hours each month to coalesce the incremental backups into a full backup. Since this is for my VPS, I don't worry too much about using a lot of bandwidth when it runs the backup (the incrementals are usually small anyway).
  • This has the same problem that XDrive had in 1995 and Eazel had in 1999: storage and networks have evolved at a pace where the latter is expensive and the former is cheap. The amount of storage you can efficiently access is just a fraction of a normal hard drive. If things had worked out differently, and we'd had DSL with 25 meg hard drives, it would have been completely different.

    This is useful for w4r3z and child porn, nothing else.


  • I am a reasonably satisfied with Carbonite. It's cheap and reasonably secure (data is encrypted).

    However it is a pure backup service; it doesn't allow, for example, remote access to the backup from another machine, which would be useful on occasion.
  • Well since this story is mostly an advertisement, i'll point out that storage at Dreamhost (See sig) is far cheaper and you get all the perks of a full blwon web hosting service. Starts @ $9.99/mo for around 200GB storage, tons of bandwidth, ftp/sftp/ssh/telnet/etc access, databases, thousands of email accounts, free domain with the ability to host as many as you want, unlimited subdomains, user acount controls, clean server directory structure (ie, /home/username/mydomain.tld), etc, etc, etc..
    • I think they're hoping that since it's Google offering the service, that it will magically be viewed as superior to everything else no matter the cost. I wouldn't want Google to have their claws on all of my data anyway.

      I agree with your "advertisement" of dreamhost. I've heard a lot of good things about them, and plan for all of my future sites to be through them unless I have something that I need dedicated hosting for.
  • If they are offering backup etc. than I would say it's worth the price!
    • by pavera (320634)
      Wrong...
      You can get unlimited backup for $70/yr, go check out mozy.com

      $500 for 250GB? That is bizarre, you can go buy a 500GB HD for a lot less than that, just spend that money buying hard drives every year, and you'll have 5 terabytes soon enough.
  • I use ixwebhosting.com for my websites, and for less than $150 a year I get 500gigs of bandwith a month and unlimited storage.

    Granted I asked them and this doesnt mean upload a couple terabytes, but I have easily hosted over 60gigs with no problems.

    And that's for a full out web hosting solution. Note: I dont work there or anything, just a very happy customer.

  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Friday August 10, 2007 @04:59PM (#20188547) Journal
    The Forbes article didn't link to it, so here's the official announcement from Google:

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/simple-way- to-get-more-storage.html [blogspot.com]

    Also, here's the link for actually purchasing the additional space:

    https://www.google.com/accounts/PurchaseStorage [google.com]

    At the time being, this doesn't seem to be a standalone storage service (the summary was kind of ambiguous about this), but rather a way to upgrade the space you have on additional Google services (gmail, Picasa, etc.). In any case, I'd really love it if they eventually came out with a storage service that you could use as a CVS/SVN repository.
  • by msimm (580077)
    For music at least I'd definitely go with mp3tunes [mp3tunes.com]. Their pricing model is much more consumer friendly (starting at free) and the service is purpose built. For general purpose storage, if I wanted or needed it I don't think I could justify paying that kind of price. Even though I'm sure their reliability is best of breed (which I know needs to be figured into the total cost, but 100GB these days is nothing).
  • $20 a year for 5Gig of online storage is a good rate, but how much bandwidth do you get? Usually that's the number that is unrealistically low on cheap hosting sites. At least, for example, if you want to serve video and audio files of your band. So you end up paying an arm and a leg for excess bandwidth usage if you don't watch out.
  • by SEE (7681) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:26PM (#20188977) Homepage
    All this is is an opportunity to buy extra space for GMail/Picassa/etc. beyond what you already get on their servers for free. It is not an online storage service like Xdrive [xdrive.com], but an equivalent to buying Hotmail Plus [live.com].
  • Dreamhost (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:42PM (#20189197) Homepage
    has a "Files Forever" service where you pay I think around $2.50 per GB ONE TIME and they host the files forever. You can also sell access to those files to other people using their service.

    I think $500/year for 250GB which works out to $2.00/year/GB isn't too bad, but it's annual. Dreamhost is ONCE.

    MegaUpload gives you 250GB of storage for $70 for TWO years which is a mere $3/month or $35/year or a bit over one cent a month per GB.

    One consideration would be risk, however - we expect Google to be around in two years. Do we know for sure that other companies would be? Of course, that is only relevant if your storage company is being used as the only store for those files - if merely used for backup, it's not relevant.

  • by smitth1276 (832902) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:23PM (#20189801)
    They used more words, and described what Google is doing less effectively. From Google's official blog:

    When you reach the limit of free storage (i.e., 1GB for Picasa Web Albums, 2.8GB for Gmail), consider this your overflow solution. Plans start at $20/year for 6GB (yes, $5 cheaper than before), with larger plans ranging up to 250GB.
    When you go to the official storage management page [google.com], the first thing it says is, "Each Google service offers you some free storage.", and then gives you a nice visual representation of how much you have used.
  • my 2 cents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:51PM (#20190763) Journal
    I pay rsync.net about 6 bucks a month, educational discount at half off, for 6 gigs of space on their servers. I'm in the USA, the server is in Europe, and it's then copied to another continent (probably the USA again... somewhere not in my apartment.) Even at half off, I'm paying rsync.net a lot more than the google thing costs. And the google thing sounds expensive to most people.

    Most people here think they can whip together some one-task server with a software raid to back their data up. In fact, many of us do this. But out of the set of us that can manage this, what portion of us are storing that data locally? And how many are checking that the backups are working properly? How many of us have actually restored to verify we know exactly what we're doing? I've been a linux admin for 8 years, and I could still see myself making an error that would cost me all my data. All the people who haven't ever done a backup server and think they're just going to whip together a solution some weekend are people playing a very risky game. Yeah yeah, I hear you saying, "this guy thinks I'm a moron, or thinks he's so smart"- listen, I'm just saying, until you've tested something new from scratch a couple times, you're risking your files to fate.

    Now, take the google thing. Yeah, they're gonna mine it. Just for advertising eyeballs, but they're gonna do it. Do you care? Should you? That's not relevant to this. What IS relevant is that they're going to back your data up better than your home-rig will. Yeah, yours is faster and bigger. But what happens when you forget to cron the backup? Or assume a symlink got tarred? Or fat-finger the restore and lose your set? Or, heaven forbid, you have a fire? What if you lost your backups with your source in the same physical accident? Or theft?

    And then you'd kick yourself for not having at least that 50 megabytes of stuff you actually can't re-download. A photo of your first girlfriend from high school. An email from an old friend that died. Stuff that had only those two copies, and you watched them both unlink from the disk before you could stop the delete command. Whoops.

    Now, if you dont want them mining it, get a host like rsync.net. Nah, I dont work for them. They're awesome only in that they delivered what I paid for. They're not one of those "unlimited until we say so" shops, and the data always gets through. They're a small shop and the guys there love support. Anyways, I'm not saying they're the ones for sure- there are plenty of other places. I just wanted the rsync support. I sleep just a little easier knowing that, however stupid I end up being, some of my stuff exists somewhere smarter than I can accidentally destroy.

    So there you have it. I'm no guru, just an average, run of the mill professional linux admin, who trusts a service provider that does backups for a living better than I can do myself at my own home. The end.
  • by mxs (42717) on Friday August 10, 2007 @10:51PM (#20191985)
    Let's knock out the obvious ones first, shall we ?

    http://www.megaupload.com/ [megaupload.com] has one offering, 250gbyte. Prepaid for one year it's 50 Euros (or whatever their site says for the US locale). That's 70 bucks. You /can/ use this as a storage-only service, but of course you can also use it for distribution and such -- no transfer limits. Rapidshare.com has similar offerings (with "unlimited" storage but a 5gbyte/day cap) at similar prices. Both of these rely heavily on customers infringing copyrights, so it's anyone's guess how long they'll stay around. Both also use somewhat nonstandard file deposit and file delivery methods. There are countless others in that market (oxedion, mediafire, upfile, rs.de, filefront, etc., all with varying foci).

    The regular webhosting market has things like this to offer as well. http://www.dreamhost.com/ [dreamhost.com] : The cheapest plan, at one year prepayment, would be around 120 bucks and offer 145gb of space. I say would since you can use their promo codes (check the forums) to almost triple the space or drop the price to a lot less. So that's 400 gb of storage, a couple terabytes of transfer a month, and some processing power to boot (WebDAV/FTP/SFTP/SCP/rsync/etc. are all possible). I imagine competitors to DH will have similar offerings space-wise. We're looking at around a fourth the price for almost double the storage space. Don't you dare yell "overselling" -- Google does, too.

    If you can be bothered with some cumbersome setup (to laypeople, anyway), Amazon S3 will get you storage space for $0.15/gb/month, plus traffic ($0.18/gb). If you actually use 250gb, the price will be comparable to Google for storage alone (i.e. no transfers other than the initial incoming transfer); the difference is that you get charged by the byte, not in large pre-paid packages. If you use 1gb and transfer it twice, you pay $0.51 that month. Also consider that if you use less than the 250gb Google offering, you're probably get away cheaper (since the smaller Google plans are comparatively more expensive while Amazon's offering exhibits a linear price curve over the amount of storage used).

    The value Google's space has is probably the integration with its applications -- Picasa, for instance, lacks decent online functionality using standard protocols -- and Google will probably deliver GREAT online functionality with their own service.

    If all you really need is a foolproof backup, open up an FTP and let the world mirror it. I wonder who would do such a thing ...

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